Texas Tech University


[Major revision–posted 12/11/23 (replaces 1/14/16 edition)]
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 Texas Tech University Double T

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 60.27: Aerial Lift and Scissor Lift Work Platform Program

DATE: December 11, 2023

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to ensure the safety of personnel and contractors required to use aerial lifts or scissor lifts. The program describes procedures for working with these devices in a manner that complies with 29 CFR 1910.67, 29 CFR 1910.29, and 29 CFR 1926.452.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of odd-numbered years by the Assistant Vice President for Environmental Health & Safety with substantive revisions forwarded through the Associate Vice President for Research (Responsible Research) to the Vice President for Research & Innovation.


1.  References

• ANSI/SIA A92.6-1999
29 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910.67
29 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1926.451–453

2.  Definitions

a.    Aerial lift – Any vehicle-mounted device used to elevate personnel with the exception of scissor lifts.

b.    Operator – Trained personnel who inspect, deploy, and operate aerial lifts and scissor lifts.

c.    Occupant – Trained personnel who work from an aerial lift or a scissor lift.

d.    Scissor lift – Mobile device that elevates personnel vertically by means of scissoring supports. Differentiated from aerial lifts as it is treated as a mobile scaffolding.

e.    Work platform – Collective term used in this OP for aerial lifts and scissor lifts.

3.  Responsibilities

a.    Department heads, directors, and administrators will:

(1)    Ensure that all provisions of this program are followed;

(2)    Ensure regular maintenance and inspections of work platforms are conducted and documented; and

(3)  Ensure operators and occupants of work platforms are appropriately trained.

b.    Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) personnel will:

(1)    Provide work platform training (both initial and refresher); and

(2)  Investigate incidents and near-misses involving work platforms.

c.    Supervisors will:

(1)    Ensure operators and occupants receive training and demonstrate competency before using a platform;

(2)    Ensure operators only operate work platforms for which they have been trained; and

(3)    Report all incidents and near-misses involving work platforms to EHS.

d.    Operators will:

(1)    Inspect work platforms before each use and promptly report any deficiencies found;

(2)    Operate work platforms safely to prevent injury or damage; and

(3)    Not operate a damaged work platform nor one for which they have not been trained.

4.  Procedures

a.    Prior to use, the work platform must be inspected by a trained operator and the inspection findings documented. Work platforms with critical deficiencies will not be used and will be tagged “OUT OF SERVICE.” All deficiencies are to be reported to supervisors by the end of the shift.

b.    Prior to use, the work area must be inspected and prepared. Hazards must be identified and addressed prior to work. This includes:

(1)    Overhead hazards

(2)    Electrical hazards – Do not operate within 10 feet of energized electrical equipment unless specifically trained to conduct electrical work.

(3)    Traffic hazards – Do not operate, without barriers or signage, in areas subject to vehicle or equipment traffic, and ensure foot traffic is routed away from the work area.

(4)    Site surface hazards – Do not operate on uneven or unstable surfaces or areas with unguarded drop-offs. Ensure working surface can support work platform.

(5)    Inclement weather hazards – Do not operate outdoors when lightning strikes are occurring closer than 10 miles or in winds above 20 mph.

c.    During operation:

(1)    Work platforms must be employed in accordance with manufacturer's specifications.

(2)    Load limits of work platform may not be exceeded (occupied weight includes personnel, tools, and equipment).

(3)    Workers must work from the floor of the device and keep their lower body inside the handrails.

(4)    Workers on the ground should not work underneath the elevated platform. Ensure that people and equipment below cannot be affected by work platform use by placing barriers and signage to isolate the work area.

d.    Following operation:

(1)    Work platforms should be stowed in the travel position (retracted and secured) in a secure area.

(2)    Refueling/recharging of work platforms should take place in designated areas where appropriate safety equipment is available.

(3)    Repairs to work platforms may only be done by authorized, trained personnel.

e.    Training

Operators and occupants must receive initial training on work platform safety prior to operating or working on a work platform. Operator training consists of an online training class and a demonstration of competency with a work platform of the same type as the one that will be used. Occupant training consists of online training only. Operators must recertify with a demonstration of competency at least every three years.

5.  Procedures (Scissor Lifts)

Scissor lifts must be used on flat, firm surfaces with minimal variations in height.

Elevated scissor lifts should be moved only for final positioning; unit should be lowered if it is to be moved any distance. If lifts have an extensible platform, retract it prior to moving any distance.

Fall arrest equipment is not required for use in scissor lifts but is recommended. The fall arrest lanyard must be attached to an anchor on the floor of the lift, not the safety railing. Note: personnel must be trained to use fall arrest equipment prior to use.

Personnel should not be allowed to work near the lift base or use the base as a storage area or work surface; the scissoring supports create a crushing hazard.

6.  Procedures (Aerial Lifts)

Aerial lifts can accommodate a more varied working surface than scissor lifts but must be deployed within manufacturer's guidelines.

Elevated aerial lifts should not be shifted while extended by using tires. Platform must be returned to the lowered position to drive to a new position.

Fall restraint equipment must be used for aerial lift operators and occupants. The lanyard must be attached to a dedicated fall protection anchor and not the safety railing. Note: personnel must be trained to use fall arrest equipment prior to use.

7.  Procedures (Forklifts and Personnel Cages)

Note that using forklifts and personnel cages as lifting devices is the least preferred option. Forklifts do not have fail-safe mechanisms to protect occupants in an elevated cage. If this method is used:

a.    Personnel cages must be designed for occupancy and have fall restraint in the form of guardrails.

b.    The personnel cage must be secured to the forklift mast.

c.    All general procedures and scissor lift procedures of this OP apply.


Operating Policies & Procedures